Proposed Trade Sees Bulls Land 6th Man of the Year, $90M 3-Pt Specialist

Chicago Bulls

Getty Kyle Lowry #7, Tyler Herro #14 and Duncan Robinson #55 of the Miami Heat look on.

The Chicago Bulls could see history repeat itself, albeit in a quicker fashion this time around, if Zach LaVine decides to take his talents to South Beach. Whenever free-agent destinations are discussed, the Miami Heat have to be mentioned.

It is a testament to the culture that team president Pat Riley has built with head coach Erik Spoelstra at the helm.

However, the Heat find themselves in a bad way, down 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Boston Celtics with Game 6 on the road. We have seen how Riley has responded in the past when his team disappoints. He found a way to land “The Heatles”, after all.

That could lead LaVine and Riley to one another, writes CBS Sports’ Sam Quinn.


Heat a Darkhorse

Quinn notes that there has been no “substantial reporting” linking LaVine to the Heat. But he also recognizes the fit for both sides in the deal as well as making mention of Miami’s history of making the big splash.

The Miami Heat could use another scorer and some roster consolidation…and the Heat are always ready to go big-game hunting.

After making it to the NBA Finals in the 2020 bubble, Miami got bounced in the first round of the playoffs last season by the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks. They traded for Kyle Lowry in response and finished the 2021-22 regular season as the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Lowry has been hobbled during these playoffs, missing half of the team’s games in the postseason heading into what could be a closeout in Game 6.

A trade package built around Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Max Strus would come about as close to fair value as Chicago could hope for.

They would have to include veteran forward P.J. Tucker if he picks up his $7.3 million player option unless Miami guarantees Strus’ deal. But this is a fairly sizeable haul, especially considering some of the other proposals that have been floating around this offseason.


The Pieces in Play

Herro has averaged 13.5 points on 49.5% true shooting in the playoffs after winning the 2022 Sixth Man of the Year award for averaging 20.7 points on 56.1% true shooting in the regular season.

He missed Game 5 with a groin injury and is listed as questionable on the latest injury report.

The former 13th overall pick in 2019 is heading into the final season of his rookie deal at just under $6 million, per Spotrac.com.

Robinson is in the second year of a five-year, $90 million deal. But after shooting 37.2% from deep in a down year while making 68 starts in the regular season, he has been relegated to coming off of the bench in the playoffs.

He did the same in six of the final seven games of the regular season before drawing a start in the finale.

The Heat were 5-0 in those games.

Taken off of the floor for defensive reasons, the Heat have needed Robinson’s skill set as they have struggled to shoot the three-ball. They have connected on just 31.2% from downtown after leading the NBA at 37.9% during the regular season.


Flight 8 to South Beach?

LaVine matches Herro’s off-the-dribble ability and shot the better than Robinson from the outside this season hitting 38.9% of his triples. He did so despite playing through torn thumb ligament and a balky knee.

LaVine’s thumb healed during the season and he had arthroscopic surgery on May 24 to clean up the knee.

The “Heat Culture” has proven to be a solid talking point. Now we will see if it can be a major draw to someone other than former Bulls wing, Jimmy Butler. Butler was taken with the 30th pick by the Bulls in 2011.

He was traded by the Bulls to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a package including LaVine in 2017.

Butler was then traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in 2018 who flipped him to Miami in 2019.

He has been effusive in his praise for what Riley and Spoelstra have built and has never been shy about recruiting. And Lowry praised LaVine during an appearance on the “Pull-Up Podcast” with C.J. McCollum, calling the Bulls free agent one of the NBA’s “most slept-on players”.

“I’m gonna say Zach Lavine. He’s one of them players in the NBA. He’s an All-Star. People don’t understand just how good he really, really is.”


Bulls Rumor Mill Heating Up

The Heat is just the latest team to pop up in the rumor mill alongside the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Portland Trailblazers. There has also been some talk of the San Antonio Spurs.

NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson said on “Unfiltered” with David Kaplan that we should expect to hear more teams as LaVine enjoys the courting process.

This one feels a little different with Riley lurking.

Those other teams would have major question marks even if they did land LaVine. But Miami has the track record and he would solve many of the issues that they are currently suffering through.

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